St. Patrick hopes to return to the state playoffs this season under the leadership of new head coach Tom Thompson.
The Irish (3-7 in 2012) will go to the pistol formation on offense this season. They ran the spread the last three seasons under former head coach Joe Rocconi.
Senior quarterback Anthony Migues (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) will guide the offense. He finished the 2012 season at quarterback, He went 9-for-12 with three touchdowns passes in a 56-37 win over Clarkdale.
He also plays safety.
"Last year we ran the spread which is mainly a passing formation on offense,'' Migues said. "With the pistol, we can throw short passes, long passes, and we've got the run all the time. You also have a fullback to block for your running back to break open the holes.
"I love being the quarterback. I have played (the position) for eight years. I started for homecoming game, and went 9-for-12 with three touchdown passes. That was my best game.''
Fellow senior Trenton Abell (6-0, 209) plays fullback and tight end on offense, and linebacker on defense.
He said the team has worked hard during the summer to get things off to a good start.
"We have a really good schedule. with a lot of conference games at the end of season,'' Abell said. "We should be able to get prepared.
"Everyone's been working hard in the summer. They want to come out here and work. Hopefully, we'll pick up some wins and get into the playoffs.''
Abell comes back this season after suffering a broken wrist during the 2012 season.
Senior Cliff Horn (5-8, 155) will join Migues and Abell in the backfield, along with sophomores Kolbie Spence and Gianni Ly.
Junior Josh Luke (5-9, 205) returns on the offensive line and will play linebacker on defense.
Since St. Patrick plans to move the ball more on the ground this season, he knows he and his fellow linemen will play big roles. Following that principle, they've work hard in the hot summer to be well-conditioned.
"It comes back to Coach Thompson's philosophy of staying in shape and being aggressive,'' Luke said. "That is the formula for a winning season.
"We don't get a lot of attention. But it all starts with the offensive line. We have to get good blocks for Anthony and Trent to run the ball. We take it seriously. We don't have a lot of depth so we all have to be in good shape, We need to have our techniques down and be ready to play.''
Luke, Jesse Parker (5-7, 195), Dakota Rolkosky 5-11, 200) and Matthew Foster (5-10, 205) are all juniors. The lone senior on the front line is Chance Cabler (5-10, 190).
As a defender, Luke remembers a 16-tackle performance he had last season against Perry Central.
Thompson said he plans to emphasize ball control and execution in his offensive attack, and plans for his defense to be aggressive. Efficiency will be important since with many players going both ways, he does not want his defense on the field an inordinate amount of time.
Abell likes the new coach. "We love the new coach and his philosophy,'' Abell said. "He's a great guy.''
The Irish open the season on the road at Presbyterian Christian in Hattiesburg on Aug. 22.
Non-region home games include Resurrection (Aug. 30), Pope John Paul II (Sept. 6) and Pearl River, La. (Sept. 27).
Region 8-3A action begins on Oct. 4 at West Marion. Three region games are at home -- Perry Central, Tylertown and Seminary -- before closing out the regular season on the road at Sumrall on Nov. 1.